10 Things I Like & 10 Things I Hate About Chengdu

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  • This topic has 10 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by Avatar photoMaz.
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    Avatar photoMaz

    As my first China chapter draws to a close next month, I am sad to say that the romance of this buzzing and happening city has been fading over the past several months. I will be moving on to open my second chapter in a nearby Province in late July.

    So, without further delay, here are the 10 things that kept me going for 8 months so far, and the 10 things that I won’t miss.


    10. The Metro System
    9. The rare moments of random kindness
    8. Sunny days
    7. Lack of boring moments in any day
    6. Grandparents looking after grandchildren
    5. The motivated smart students
    4. The hard working public roads cleaners and street vendors
    3. Dujiangyan
    2. The beautiful ladies – domestic and foreign
    1. The food! – Foreign and domestic


    10. The crazy car drivers and their horns.
    9. The reckless e-bike riders
    8. Hostile Hongqi Chain store customer service
    7. Unwarranted interference with my job
    6. Selfishness on public transport
    5. Lack of help from locals when communication breaks down
    4. Motorcycle-taxi drivers gathering and shouting “modi” in people’s faces outside Tongzilin Metro station
    3. People staring at their phones for a long time while sitting with friends in restaurants and bars.
    2. Lazy, entitled and obnoxious students
    1. Bad bus drivers – Fast turns and frequent harsh braking.

    Avatar photoj.slemmer

    Very very few are related to Chengdu and are China related topics in my opinion.

    What are the real top 3 positive and negative things related to Chengdu to you? Mine are:

    + the people
    + relative cleanness of the city
    + closeness of nature and mountains around us

    – subway construction
    – can’t really think of more real Chengdu negatives

    Avatar photo897934-884

    I wish you the best in the next province, Maz.

    There are differences throughout the country.  Chengdu has its charms and ghouls like everywhere.   The recent popularity of the city has brought on a lot of attitude, money and pricks – in all areas.   I’m well fed up with a lot of it.    But hey, it’s all about progress, and progress is called becoming NYC or some such money pit.

    Street cleaners +++

    Dujiangyan (and all other cities outside the haze) ++++

    The food +     (only one because Chengdu is merely an average example of the cuisine in the province)

    Grandparents letting the babies shit absolutely everywhere (like in entrance gates, metro platforms and on the metro itself) ——–

    Chengdu folks’ complete lack of spacial recognition.  Running into fixed objects (people) all around the city whether walking, driving or e-biking.  Not bad drivers, just plain stupid.   ——————–   (not a China-wide characteristic)

    Good luck on the next chapter!

    Avatar photoRick in China

    My parents just left Chengdu on Friday, here are some things I experienced and gleaned from their ‘fresh eyes’ perspective:

    + one-on-one I find most people to be really friendly and polite, chatting and at least seeming somewhat authentic/interested.

    – without one-on-one interaction, frequently encounter absolute disregard for everyone and anyone around, like cars blocking paths for other cars without giving a shit (like parking infront of exit/entry of places) or everyone trying to cram through everywhere they can without caring that cramming just slows everyone down.

    + for a city of this population and size it’s really quite clean especially in all the newer areas

    – there are still frequently pits of incredibly shit-like smells emanating from places along high-traffic paths, and while some noses may be used to it, shit smells on the street are extremely unpleasant.

    + transportation/public transportation and city design is quite good, the bulls-eye rings/north-south-east-west lines and often wide roads were all relatively well planned, however

    – construction efforts seem perpetual, making day-to-day transportation along some routes really painful..and the fact construction pops up everywhere randomly means your ‘trusted route’ which may take 30 minutes, may take 60 randomly some days.

    + food flavour and variety is pretty good in general, more food options over time

    – food *quality* and safety leaves much to be desired, and pricing of food in Chengdu seems sporadic.. like, an extreme range of really cheap to really overpriced, like the “500kuai/lb salmon” my wife keeps getting advertised in some wechat group she’s in, absurd.

    Avatar photoMiro630


    Firstly let me wish you luck in your further endeavor!

    I would absolutely agree on the weather in Chengdu – sunny with few raining days.

    But lack of rain brings the drawback of poor air quality …

    Food is OK, but not great for Sichuan …(I do not know why – it seems to me that people in Chengdu do not care much about really really tasty food – good is OK here, no desire for excellence …).

    Metro I would more find as a joke … just two lanes …

    But people are generally great here! (as are all Sichuanese and Chongqingese).

    But my absolutely hated thing in this city are electric bikes … You never know from where one will come and tend to hit you …

    Avatar photoCharlie

    Some of these things aren’t specific to Chengdu, but are just China things:

    + excellent food (local and foreign)
    + friendly people
    + cheap, great massages
    + taobao & jd.com same-day delivery
    + rapid growth and development of the city (never a boring moment)
    + grassroots culture (lots of startups, interesting new businesses and projects)
    + beautiful, friendly women
    + the “craziness” of China

    – lack of sunshine
    – pollution
    – internet
    – politics of China
    – lack of world-class concerts and music events
    – the “craziness” of China

    As time goes on, I find that Chengdu becomes a better and easier place to live.

    Avatar photoMr. Klink

    I’m going to list my positives.  Spend too much time complaining as is so just going to focus on the good vibes.

    -Great city for riding bikes in

    -Friendly people

    -Access to Western Sichuan (and Western China in general)

    -Dynamic environment

    -Smaller – not big and overwhelming like Beijing/Shanghai

    -Sleepy shaded side streets

    -Growing craft beer scene

    -Long shoulder seasons

    -Rainy days

    Avatar photoRick in China

    -Rainy days

    This is a positive?

    While I like *rain* in general, I do not like rain in Chengdu at all (minus the after-affect on the polluted air, of course)! It’s a super dirty grungy rain, not fresh H20. My mother was like “I like the rain!” while I was trying to prance them between sheltering of bushes between apartment>car last week, on the one rainy day…I tried to explain that the rain here isn’t like the rain back home: it doesn’t provide a free car wash, instead, it turns a clean car into a mud-crusted beast. It’s not acid rain or anything like that, but to like rain in Chengdu must imply some sort of enjoying it from indoors? Or do you like dirt in your hair/face/clothing/other exposed things..

    Avatar photoMr. Klink

    For the most part I enjoy it.  I get a big kick out of the arrhythmic pattering sounds of rain on the eaves of balconies in old apartment complexes.

    And you’ve got to admit, after a long, grey, dry, dusty winter when it starts raining frequently in late spring into summer, it does clean things up.  More so than a place like Beijing at least.

    I was riding around last night when it was raining lightly and rode past some of the parks along Renmin and 3rd ring and it smelt super fresh.  Like earth and grass and tree blooms after a clean rain fresh.


    Avatar photoDan

    I do love the smell of petrichor, Mr. Klink.

    Maz, we’ll miss you bud! I know what you mean about the “romance ending” – one’s relationship with one’s city of residence is anything but simple or consistent. Indeed, there is passion and the excitement of discovery early on, or perhaps anxiety and apprehension in the face of the unknown and mysterious. Later, a growing fondness as you become more familiar with the city, her charms as well as her flaws. You profess your affection but also lament some incompatibilities between the two of you, searching within yourself for the ability to overcome these obstacles to find true peace and harmony in your life in this city.

    You may savor the challenge but perhaps not indefinitely, and as you receive the call of a new place, a new city with a different culture and landscape, it can be hard to resist.

    Wishing you good luck on your next step. Stay in touch and let us know when you’re back in town 😀

    Avatar photoMaz

    Thanks guys. Great additional points as well.

    I’m glad the plus point about the ladies being beautiful is echoed. I thought I was going to be harrassed about it and be called a misogynistic, sexist pig! 😀

    Things have changed for the better ever since I posted this. Perhaps the lists have been translated and passed on to the relevant authorities.. Then again, I am on my final month here and I don’t care as much now and just looking forward to seeing my family again after 9 months away from them.


    That is quite a poetic response :p I couldn’t have put it better myself.

    P.S. It goes without saying that ChengduLiving is a major and an absolute necessary positive ~

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